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28 September 2018

posted 27 Sept 2018, 20:08 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 27 Sept 2018, 20:16 by Stephanie Williams ]
He rangi tā Matawhāiiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui
The person with narrow vision sees a narrow horizon, the person with a wide vision sees a wide horizon.

In the final Newsletter for the term, a big thank you must go to our teachers and support staff  for the focus on a wide horizon! 

The term started with big lofty plans..... and those big lofty plans have been accomplished! We go into the holidays really pleased with what our children have achieved over these 10 weeks. That Arts Celebration was something special and, as we celebrated in a recent Assembly, this was a great example of student centred learning, nothing pre-packaged here!

Last week we had the Parent Workshop on Maths Learning. As I said, we are very proud of our Maths academic results. In 2017 a colossal 86% of our children were at, exceeding or well exceeding curriculum expectations in Maths for their year level. And we are tough on our judgments, as the reviewers from the Education Review Office noted in their feedback to us! But that doesn't mean we rest easy. We have never known so much about how students learn - thank you to the inventors of  MRI scanning technology.

All of our teachers are undertaking Maths professional development through Stanford University - focussed on the latest research and thinking in Maths education as to where and how you get the biggest shifts in achievement. The Board recognises the importance of ongoing teacher development and, as a consequence, Nicola was awarded a study grant this year, yes - you guessed it - focussed on Maths. Nicola and Ximena have also been selected to present at the largest national educators' conference ULearn these upcoming holidays, which we are really proud of. (And their session is booked out!)

So we were very excited to have the opportunity to share our ongoing learning and thinking with many of you last week. We started with a little activity - asking parents to simply answer this question:

BEFORE: What did Maths mean to you at school? (3 words)

Then at the end of the interactive workshops we asked this question:

AFTER: What does Maths learning look like for kids at WBS? (3 words)

Please find the first and second Word Cloud results below:

This was really great and informative feedback for us, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up on a screen in Auckland at ULearn sometime soon as part of a presentation!

If you couldn't make it, you may find this Jo Boaler Ted Talk interesting. Or What our Children Think.

I also realise that last week was a double whammy with the workshop and then many of you helping out again the next night at the Disco ...... and then this week some of you camping out at school for the Year 3 & 4 Sleepover. It is so very much appreciated - and thank you for your willingness to work with us to do the best by your child/ren in so many different ways. It's time for us to have a slight shift of gear for the next 2 weeks and look forward to a lively Term 4.

Please make sure you have diaried the WRAP on Thursday 13 December. This is where all families come together to celebrate the year, have a sing-a-long, bring a picnic and farewell our Year 6s in style. Plenty of water under the bridge yet - but it's a must do!

Sadly, Susie's WRAP was today - our aroha, kaha and manaakitanga travels with you to Christchurch, Susie. Go well and continue to flourish in the Garden City!

Hararei hari, happy holidays.